Christmas is just a week away, and stores are going to be especially crowded these next few days as folks try to find just the right gifts for loved ones.
Santa Claus will be coming to town, and will be leaving plenty of presents under Christmas trees. After the exchange of gifts and religious services, families will gear up for a dinner extravaganza.
However, for some kids, there will be few, if any, gifts under their trees. And for many individuals and families, there will be no special dinner. Yet, there is hope.
For the last 58 years, needy families have been able to count on the kindness of fellow Northeast residents.
The Times coordinates the Eleanor Smylie Community Fund, which identifies those in need and relies on the people of the Northeast to send in donations to help them have a merry Christmas.
At the beginning of the week, the Times had received well over a hundred requests for help from struggling people, along with letters from individuals seeking assistance for needy friends and family members.
Among them are a disabled West Mayfair woman raising her three grandchildren; a Frankford mother of three who has a teenage son in remission from cancer; a Holmesburg woman who has a young son and been a victim of domestic violence; a Castor Gardens man worried that he can afford only dollar store gifts for his young daughter after he lost his job and two weeks’ pay when his company closed; and a Mayfair woman with lung cancer raising three grandchildren.
Also arriving in the mail are many contributions from readers who want to help the needy. We gratefully accept each donation, no matter how big or small.
All of the money goes directly toward gift cards for the less fortunate. These gift cards are arriving in the mail and will continue to be sent out until Christmas.
If you’d like to donate, or if you’d like to make a request for help, write to Eleanor Smylie Community Fund, 2512 Metropolitan Drive, Trevose, PA 19053.
Or, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests for help must be received by Friday.
If you are asking for help for yourself or if you know of someone who needs assistance, please include the name and contact number of an agency or friend who can verify the information.
Here are some of the contributors to this year’s fund:
• Rosemarie Purette $30
• In memory of Reba and Morris Pearlstein and Jane and Walter Montgomery $100
• Gia and Mena Porreca $25
• Linda Reichert $10
• In memory of Margaret Evans-Tarpinian $25
• In memory of Yetta and Julius Cooper $25
• Hedwig Foley $15
• In memory of Catherine and Peggy $50
• Marian Harrington $20
• In memory of Margaret Magee $100
• Ferdinand and Mary Toriello $10
• Margaret and Charles Whitlock $10
• William and Bonnie Hughes $100
• McMenamin Family ShopRite $150